Thursday, December 13, 2012

Winter in the desert

I can't believe it was September the last time I posted! Guess the change in weather has kept me out of doors more, with less time on my hands!

These fall/winter months have been perfect, with low sleeping temps at night (high 40's to low 50's) and high 60's to low 70's during the day. Wildlife patterns have changed drastically, with no snakes in sight! I've also not seen our Gila monster or any of the other lizards that were hanging around. Bird life comes and goes. We're down to two kinds of hummingbirds--black-chinned and I think, Annas. The finches are turning yellow and devouring the thistle. I try to stay up with the feeders as well as sprinkling seeds along our back wall for the quail and other ground feeders. Of course the doves are plentiful! We still have the roadrunner pair hanging around but I don't see them as often--I've been putting some dog food on the other side of the wall for them...I know, I shouldn't because it attracts more unsavory creatures, but...Our cactus fountain has turned out to be a huge success for all the birds!

Bugs are nearly gone although a few bees hang on--I have a bee trap outside because we've had two infestations of africanized honey bees--Jim is allergic. Flies are nearly gone but we did have to break down and buy a fly swatter.

It's wonderful to go for a walk at any time of the day--Jim and I took a long one on Saturday, following a narrow trail leading to the Catalinas. Didn't make it that far but we have plans to carry our lunch and more water and make a day trip out of it--must find out where the petroglyphs are....sunsets are beautiful but we need sweaters to watch them. No more drinking wine out on the back patio! We even broke down and bought some wood...looking forward to our first fire. We may even have a fire outside on the longest night of the year to bring back the light!

On another note, Buddha (standard poodle) has been punky for several days and I had him tested for valley fever. His symptoms include lethargy, lackluster interest in food--even chicken and rice--some diarrhea and intermittent lameness when on longer walks. The leg issues may be unrelated but at this point I'm hoping the diagnosis is valley fever. It's treatable and if it isn't that, I'm at a loss!

Christmas is low key out here where the sun shines so much--haven't bought a tree as yet. But grandchildren will be here on monday and they love to trim it!

Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah and a light-filled Solstice to everyone!

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